Any indoor FM antennas worth a darn?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by head_unit, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    This is for a Denon AVR-1612, where in particular I'd like to get Kjazz, KKJZ-Long Beach. I'm up by Cal State LA and that station is weak. I'm not gonna put something up in the attic or on the house, it would have to be something to stick behind the receiver. Is anything up to that task?
     
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  2. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    No idea about effective indoor antennas, but:

    Listen to Jazz After Midnight on KJAZZ 88.1 on TuneIn

    playing off their iPhone or Android app, using your phone to the front panel USB, would work.

    It's a real crap-shoot, the sort of antenna your talking about. Make sure you have the option to return whatever you buy. I got a $10 telescoping antenna for my folks to use with the radio I bought them and it was hit or miss.

    If you're averse to the app option, I'd just try this and give up if it doesn't work.

    https://www.amazon.com/FM-Dipole-Antenna-Male-connector/dp/B00EIB70N2
     
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  3. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    A 31 inch telescoping antenna should work, horizontal orientation and rotate in the direction of the radio tower. (or 180 degrees away) A piece of 22 gauge insulated wire pulled reasonably straight will work too. (cut to 31 inches or close to that) Connect only to the FM "+" terminal, leave the gnd terminal alone. These are called "monopole" antennas. Radio shack still carries dipole FM antennas, well... they did the last time I included an antenna with a refurbished receiver I sold around 2012. The dipole FM antenna connects to + and - terminals. For weak signal areas and distant stations, Radio Shack used to offer an antenna RF amp (booster).. not sure if you can buy these new anymore, however you may find one on eBay.
     
  4. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    There is no more Radio Shack, if you've been paying attention.

    The simplest FM antenna actually works quite well. A length of 300 ohm twin-lead antenna cable (not that easy to find any more though), made into a dipole antenna. You can just buy the antenna for $6. You might need a 300-75 ohm adapter if your receiver only has coax in.

    [​IMG]

    I've made a bit more complex and directional yagi antenna out of copper pipe with reflector and directors using some internet formulas, it's up on a roof mast, but isn't connected to anything, because radio programming sucks. This antenna design is more frequency-selective, so you can choose if you need more help on the 88MHz or 108MHz end and tweak the design's element lengths (and you can also tweak a basic dipole like above to be centered on your favorite station's frequency).

    In the US, FM radio signals are traditionally vertically polarized and TV is horizontally polarized. This is is why a car's antenna points up, but the elements of a TV antenna point sideways. This means that your dipole antenna's wire "ears" will likely work better spread ceiling-to-floor instead of side-to-side like a T.

    Many large broadcasters are using circular polarization so antenna orientation doesn't matter as much, but we hope you are interested in the more sophisticated community radio you find at 88-92MHz. Usually better quality as an MP3 or AAC stream here though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  5. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    I don't use it anymore, but always had good luck with a Magnum Dynalab Silver Ribbon:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Benzion

    Benzion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
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  7. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    It's a 30 Kilowatt ERP signal, how far are you from the transmitter site? Do you have line of sight to the transmitter tower?
     
  8. efraley

    efraley Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond Va USA
    I've used a BIC Beam Box for years. May be you can find a used one on eBay. Since it has no moving parts a used one should be in good condition if treated properly.
     
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  9. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    A paper clip could be up to the task under the right circumstances.

    Information provided is so vague, it is impossible to say what the minimum installation would be required in your particular location to receive a particular FM station. This doesn't even address whether the tuner itself is up to the particular task at hand.

    A rooftop directional antenna with rotator will provide the finest reception. If you've been unable to obtain satisfactory results with the indoor antennas you've been using so far, chances are you'll need something better. It all depends on how important the enjoyment of this station and your commitment.
     
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  10. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Distance should not be an issue (20 miles away), the station he wants to get is reasonably powerful (30,000 watts of Effective Radiated Power). He may have that receiver's antenna in a place where he's in the wrong direction towards the station. He needs to play with the antenna's orientation for the best signal. Hope he is not at the bottom of a ridge or other terrain blocking reception.
     
  11. monte4

    monte4 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Varied accessories for audio

    Scroll down to bottom of page. I use this FM antenna (earlier version) and it works great even below ground level.
     
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  12. TeacFan

    TeacFan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arcadia, Ca.
    KKJZ is a tough one unless you live in Naples :D I have an attic antenna, installed when the place was built, and even that is problematic. I have my A/V unit internet section programed for the station. Cannot get a good stereo signal over the air. :realmad:
     
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  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Is there a reason why you're resisting using the online broadcast instead?
     
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  14. TeacFan

    TeacFan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arcadia, Ca.
    Not really, just old school in that matter.
     
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  15. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    In this case, the new/updated method would give you a far more reliable and superior-sounding result.

    When we moved into our house, there was a 30-foot antennae on the roof as the previous owner was a ham radio nut. If I had wanted to, I could've used it for radio reception purposes but with pretty much every station broadcasting online, there's no need. Got it taken off and our house looks nicer as a result. Win-win. :)
     
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  16. These are your best bet for indoor use only, (especially if you don't want to see wires everywhere), but it's hit and miss.............

     
  17. mneveux

    mneveux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Just tried KKJZ streaming from their website and it is a good sounding stream Give it a try. And if you want it to sound even better if you are using a Mac, check out Amarra sQ+
     
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  18. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    The problem with amplified antennas is that they amplify the entire signal, so if you have a noisy one they amplify the noise as well as the station. I use a rabbit ears antenna and it does a pretty good job with lots of adjustability. But there is still a station I'd like to get but can't get a good enough signal at home, possibly because I'm on the north side of a hill and the signal is coming from the southwest.
     
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  19. JimSmiley

    JimSmiley Team Blue Note

    I "tuned" a dipole antenna to pull in a specific frequency for a jazz station that I enjoy, but had trouble getting clearly. Installed it in the attic, and it works really well.
    West Mountain Radio - Antenna Calculator

    edit...also had good luck with Godar
     
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  20. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    yes, i use a powered antenna booster ( a 1990 radio shack one) works great for pulling in Z-rock from way out west from me, that has a weak signal. I get it in perfectly. I unplug the antenna, and its a cross between talk, and sone light pop rock station.

    works good for me in the basement !
     
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  21. Thick speaker cable is the only way to go. All of my rigs are outfitted that way.
     
  22. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago





    me too, I use 8 Gauge from my amps to speakers. soldered in banana plugs.
     
    Larry C. McGinnis III likes this.
  23. mktracy

    mktracy Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena,Ca
    I use a BIC Beam Box FM10. Bought it back in the early 80's and it still works great. Im in Pasadena,CA and I too listen to KKJZ 88.1 and it comes in great. Check ebay to try and find one.[​IMG]
     
  24. feinstei9415

    feinstei9415 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I had very good luck chasing DX FM stations with the ClearStream brand model 2V antenna. It allowed me to bring in an IBOC HD FM station in Kalamazoo, MI (102.1) in digital from my location in South Bend, IN at a distance of about 60 miles.
     
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  25. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    It is problematic. I don't know why. OK, looking again, now I know why:
    "Adobe"
    :drool:
     
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